Sushi Maki pros share their skills with Gables High student chefs
Students in the Culinary Arts Program at Coral Gables Senior High School learned how to make sushi on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from Sushi Maki CEO Abe Ng and a trio of his chefs who visited the school as part of The Education Fund’s Celebrity Teach-A-Thon.
Accompanied by culinary colleagues Alex Kuk (Pao Town) and JienFeng Liu and Steve Hosang (both of Sushi Maki), Ng talked to students about what it takes to open and manage a successful restaurant.
And Ng would know, having opened his first sushi shop in South Miami in 2000 followed by additional restaurants in Coral Gables, Palmetto Bay, Miami International Airport, Brickell and Kendall Marketplace. Ng and team opened Pao Town last fall in Coral Gables.
A Miami native and the son of immigrant restaurant operators, Ng is one of 50 professionals who have volunteered for the Teach-A-Thon, a program that brings business professionals into Miami-Dade County Public School classrooms. Volunteers design their own lesson plans and teach a class in elementary, middle or high schools for at least one hour. In the process, Teach-A-Thon volunteers learn to value the role of public school teachers.
Volunteers also raise money for local schools, with proceeds funding school supplies, field trips and other classroom activities. Over the last eight years, The Education Fund campaign has raised more than $360,000 for local schools.
“The goal of the The Education Fund’s Teach-a-Thon is more important than ever as funding for and belief in public education continues to decrease while other countries embrace their public education systems,” said Linda Lecht, president of the nonprofit. “Public understanding of the role of teachers is critical. It’s by investing in teachers that we will be able to compete in the global marketplace.”
Last year, Ng taught first graders at Citrus Grove Elementary in Miami about sushi and where it comes from as part of his Teach-A-Thon assignment. Since then, Sushi Maki has started serving sushi in more than a dozen public high schools, including Coral Gables High.
“My staff and I have are committed to promoting healthy living through nutrition. It’s our goal to teach students in public schools about the foods that are good for them,” Ng said.
More than 50 companies and their employees are stepping up to the challenge to teach during the three-month event, which started last November. The Education Fund’s Teach-A-Thon volunteers have raised more than $18,000 this school year. Over the last eight years, the campaign has raised more than $360,000 for local schools.
For more information, visit www.educationfund.org.